Charles Darwin University (CDU) pharmacy student Irene Stergos has been selected as a finalist for the prestigious Viatris Pharmacy Student of the Year by the Australian Pharmaceutical Society.
An aspiring pharmacist towards the completion of her studies at CDU, Ms Stergos is excited about the recognition from the national peak body for pharmacy.
The 23-year-old, born-and-bred Territorian hopes to become a qualified pharmacist in the Top End or work in remote communities in the Territory.
After winning the first round of competitions for South Australia and the Northern Territory, Ms Stergos is travelling to Sydney to compete in the national final, where the eight finalists will face a real-life clinical situation working with a patient with signs and symptoms or a product request.
The finalists will demonstrate to an expert judging panel their clinical knowledge and communication skills to identify the best course of action, tailoring their response to deliver the most appropriate advice.
Ms Stergos said her dream of becoming a pharmacist stemmed from living in Darwin with her family.
“My grandparents are on medications, and I just wanted to help them out and make sure they understand the medicine and look after their health,” Ms Stergos said.
“I feel that Darwin has big opportunities for pharmacy because there are so many patients from different communities. So, it’s good for them to understand what they are taking.
“Being on placement at a local hospital, I’m pretty set on this is what I want to do. I’m so excited to finish my studies at CDU and become a pharmacist in the NT.”
This is the first time that CDU or the Northern Territory has been represented on the national stage of the award presented at the Pharmacy Society of Australia’s annual conference on July 29.
CDU College of Health and Human Sciences Dean, Professor Dominic Upton, said Ms Stergos’ nomination marked an important milestone in CDU students’ achievements.
“At the College, we are proud of what our students achieve in their learning and professional journeys,” Professor Upton said.
“Students like Irene Stergos demonstrate what our students are capable of and uplift the quality of care for healthcare patients.
“The newly reinstated pharmacy course at CDU aims to train more locally-based pharmacists and create a positive impact on health services in the Northern Territory.”